Several board members and friends of Common Ground Ministries of Waxahachie joined most of the 28 children that attend the nonprofit organization in the dedication of a new late-model 15-passenger Ford E-350 van.

The van became a reality for the after-school care program through gifts from Waxahachie Foundation, United Way of West Ellis County and two additional grants secured by Common Ground.

On hand for the occasion were Diane Henley, president of the Common Ground board; Jim Jordan, board member; Common Ground executive director Stacie Dixon; assistant director Cher Lockenour;  Herman and Lydia Martinez, pastors of Alpha and Omega Church located near the center; John Bates, pastor of Freedom Fellowship of Waxahachie; and Daniel Erickson, a Boy Scout from Scout Troop No.

232, Waxahachie, who will replace Common Ground’s old playground equipment as his Eagle Scout project.

Dixon introduced Martinez, who led the group in a prayer of dedication for the new vehicle.

“We are so glad and thankful to receive this van,” Henley said. “We know that it will be used in the service of the Lord.”

Dixon introduced her family, which traveled from Del Rio, Texas, to attend the event.

Children who attend Common Ground in the afternoons after school were elated with the welcome addition to the organization.

“It’s much larger than the van we used to have – we felt scrunched up in it, but this one has much more room, and it’s air-conditioned,” said Makayla, a Dunaway Elementary fifth-grader.

Kaleah, another Dunaway fifth-grader; Ja’Kyah, Dunaway first grader; Ca’Tera who is in the fifth grade at Northside Elementary; Jordan, a Dunaway second-grader; Northside first-grader Kylee; and Ta’Niyah, Northside first-grader, all cheered in agreement with Makayla.

For information about Common Ground Ministries, contact the office at 972-923-2224.

Contact Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com or 469-517-1450.